Digestive tract diseases are among the most common symptoms in cats. Diarrhea and constipation result from foreign bodies in the intestinal tract, poor nutrition, or other illnesses. While the causes of constipation can be harmless, they can also be dangerous. If the cat cannot defecate, it is an emergency and the velvet paw must be treated by the veterinarian immediately. In severe cases, intestinal obstruction can even be life-threatening. In this article, we have summarized for you the causes of constipation with intestinal obstruction, which symptoms occur in affected animals, and when the cat needs to be treated by the veterinarian.

Cat Intestinal Blockage

  • Healthy cats shed their feces every day. In the case of acute intestinal obstruction, the cat cannot defecate due to the blockage in the intestinal tract.
  • If left untreated, the disease quickly becomes life-threatening and, in severe cases, leads to the death of the animal.
  • The sick cat must be treated immediately by the veterinarian. Surgery is almost always necessary to treat a blocked bowel.

Cause of constipation in cats: how does an intestinal obstruction develop?

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The possible causes of the life-threatening illness are manifold. One of the most common causes is constipation caused by swallowing foreign objects such as toys, nuts, shoelaces, gift ribbons, or other objects (pica syndrome) that are swallowed by the cat and get stuck in the intestinal tract or get caught in it. If the cat’s digestive tract does not manage to excrete the foreign body naturally, the intestine will be partially or completely closed by the foreign body and the food pulp from the stomach can no longer be transported through the intestine.

In addition to foreign bodies, diseases can also lead to intestinal obstruction in cats. Above all, tumors in the intestinal tract, a severe worm infestation, or a twisting of the intestine are among the disease-related causes that block the patency of the intestine for mashed food. Another cause of constipation can be poor diet. In severe cases, severe constipation caused by an improper diet can lead to intestinal obstruction.

Symptoms: how do you recognize an intestinal obstruction in cats?

The basic symptom of a cat’s bowel obstruction is an inability to pass feces. Affected animals no longer go to the litter box. As a result, vomiting occurs frequently and in gushes, since the mashed food cannot be excreted through the intestinal tract. The main symptoms are accompanied by other non-specific symptoms such as malaise, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and apathy. The cat is visibly sick and its condition is getting worse. Weakness, breathing problems, and circulatory problems are common in affected animals in the advanced stages.

While an intestinal obstruction in indoor cats is usually quickly noticeable due to a lack of feces in the litter box, recognizing the disease in outdoor cats is much more complicated. Constipation is often noticed later. Therefore, you should react immediately to changes in your cat’s behavior and observe whether your cat shows symptoms that could indicate intestinal problems.

Therapy: How is an intestinal obstruction treated by the veterinarian?

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If you suspect a bowel disease, take your cat to the vet right away. Immediate treatment is necessary for the event of intestinal obstruction. The veterinarian will first give the sick animal a thorough examination by palpating the cat’s belly and checking to see if it is in pain. Any suspicion of an obstruction of the intestine is then checked by an X-ray examination. If the suspicion is confirmed, an anesthetic operation is necessary. The foreign body or tumor is removed and, if necessary, damaged intestinal tissue is removed.

Prognosis: What are the chances of recovery for affected animals?

If the intestinal obstruction is not recognized in good time and the cat is unable to excrete any feces for a long period of time, the disease can be life-threatening. Foreign bodies or tumors in the intestinal tract, in particular, can lead to a threatening breakthrough in the intestinal wall. For this reason, if you suspect an obstruction of the intestine in the cat, it is important to react immediately and consult the veterinarian.

If the symptoms are recognized in good time and the cat is treated immediately, there is a good chance of regeneration. Although an operation and the associated anesthesia are a great burden for the house tiger, there is usually no alternative therapy option. The sooner the cat is treated, the less chance there is of complications. As soon as the cat has been treated and operated on by the vet, it can defecate again and the intestinal tract can function again.

Take signs of intestinal obstruction seriously

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If your cat shows symptoms of illness, watch them closely. In particular, frequent vomiting and failure to dispose of feces are alarm signals that should not be ignored. If an intestinal obstruction is suspected, it is important to act quickly. So do not hesitate and, if in doubt, go to the veterinarian to have your cat thoroughly examined and treated as soon as possible.